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RESILIENT LEOPARDS: DR Congo Fight Back To Hold Morocco To A Draw

DR Congo national team put up a resilient second-half performance to come back from one-nil down and held darkhoses Morocco to a 1-1 draw in their 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations second Group F fixture on Sunday.

The Leopards went into Sunday’s game at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pédro looking for a positive result after starting their AFCON campaign with a frustrating 1-all draw against Zambia.

Leopards’ French gaffer Sebastien Desabre retained his faith in the line-up that drew against the Chipolopolo with defence pillar Chancel Mbemba leading his side while Cedric Bakambu, Gaël Kakuta and Yoane Wissa were also redeployed upfront.

Meanwhile, the Atlas Lions of Morocco also maintained their star-studded line-up and drew first blood as early as the 6th minute through Paris Saint Germain right-back Achraf Hakimi who struck in the box off an Hakim Ziyech delivery.

The Leopards were left shell-shocked after falling behind to Morocco but still threatened going upfront.

Kenyan referee Peter Waweru pointed to the spot in the 40th minute after consulted VAR on an incident where defender Henock Inonga looked to have been elbowed in the box by Selim Amallah.

Cedric Bakambu stepped up to take the spot-kick and saw his effort come off the post much to the relief of goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and the Moroccans who went into the break holding a narrow lead.

Desabre’s charges returned to the second-half an even better side as the Frenchman introduced VFB Stuttgart midfielder Silas Katompa and BSC Young Boys winger Elia Meshack.

The two introductions paid off as they the duo combined in the 76th minute with Elia setting up Katompa in the area to level the scores.

The Leopards grew in confidence and pushed for the winner in the dying moments of the match that ended in a brawl between the teams after Congolese captain Chancel Mbemba was alleged to have been racially abused by one of the Moroccan technical bench members.

DR Congo now sit second in Group F with 2 points after two draws and face Tanzania in their last fixture next Wednesday at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo.

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